2009/2010 учебный год
Вопросы к госэкзаменам
«Теоретический и практический курс английского языка»
1. Теоретический вопрос
2. Лингвистический анализ текста художественной литературы
3. Реферирование на английском языке русского текста
4. Беседа по пройденной теме
1. Теоретические вопросы
4. Темы для разговора
THE PURPOSE OF READING. MOST ESSENTIAL KINDS OF READING
A book is a one of the greatest wonders in the world. It gives us a unique chance to link up with authors who lived hundreds and thousands years ago. Thanks to books, we can talk to people who lived in different ages and countries. Through reading books we hear their voices, thoughts and feelings. Books are the surest way to bring nations together. They give us an insight not only into the past, but also into the future. A book is faithful and undemanding friend: it can be put aside and taken up again at any moment. I think that good literature always expresses the author's position. And no real art can be achieved without the truth of life.
Books can fit almost every need, temper, or interest. Books can be read when you are in the mood; they don't have to be taken in periodic doses. Books are more personal and more impersonal than professors. Books have an inner confidence which individuals seldom show; they rarely have to be on the defensive. Books can afford to be bold, and courageous, and explanatory; they don't have to be so careful of boards of trustees, colleagues, and community opinion. Books are infinitely diverse; they run the gamut (охватывать весь диапазон, всю гамму чувств) of human activity. Books can express every point of view; if you want a different point of view, you can read a different book. Reading is probably the most important skill you will need for success in your studies. You will have to read lengthy assignments in different subjects with varying degrees of detail and difficulty. If you read inaccurately, you will fail to understand some of the information and ideas you read. If you read slowly, you will have to spend too much time reading your assignments so that your other work may suffer. Poor reading may be a problem for you, but it is not a hopeless one. Like other skills your ability to read English rapidly and accurately will depend upon a careful instruction and purposeful practice. You must continue to practise on your own to improve your reading skill. Reading speed is determined in part by how many words you can see at a single glance. Here is a comparison of three different readers and how many stops their eyes make.
^ Being able to read by phrases instead of by single words results from practice.
Average Reader: Being able to read by phrases instead of by single words results from practice.
Fast Reader: Being able to read by phrases instead of by single words results from practice. Notice that the slow reader's eyes must stop fourteen times, focusing on each word alone before they move on to the next. The eyes of the average reader stop six or seven times because they are able to see about two words at a single glance. The eyes of the fast reader stop only three times. They focus at the center of a phrase and see three or four words, then move rapidly to the next phrase. This ability to see words on either side of the point at which your eyes focus is called peripheral vision. As a foreign student of English, you may feel, that it is impossible to recognize so many words at a single glance. It is difficult for many native speakers, but it can be done - and must be done if you are to read as rapidly as you should. You can increase your peripheral vision by eye exercises.
Books and articles differ in difficulty. Rate of reading depends on the difficulty of the material and on the purpose of reading. We can distinguish:
A good reader will change his rate of reading according to his purpose.
The death, of the book has been predicted for centuries. Cinema, radio and television have all been presented as the murderers of our most treasured cultural icon. The Internet is the latest suspect to hold the smoking gun.
Some books are being replaced by electronic media. Who wants to use a twenty-volume encyclopedia when information can be taken instantly from a CD-ROM? Why should a lawyer spend time and a client’s money searching through massive tomes, when the necessary information can be found in seconds from a database? But no one will lie in bed reading a novel from a CD-ROM.
So reading - and the books, magazines and newspapers that we read - still have a part to play. They will continue to instruct, amuse and influence for decades and centuries to come.
In my presentation I’m going to throw light on the peculiarities of making up business letters and contracts in English. First I’ll speak about business correspondence, then about contracts.
^ may be subdivided into official and semi-official. The first kind of letters is characteristic of those people working in business: an executive, a secretary or a specialist in business and technology. But also many people may want to buy something, to accept an invitation or to congratulate somebody - this is a kind of semi-official letters. The first kind of letters may in turn be subdivided into such groups as: inquiries, offers, orders, and so on.
Official or semi-official business letters require certain accepted idioms, phrases, patterns, and grammar. Therefore certain skills must be acquired by practice, and details of writing must be carefully and thoroughly learnt.
The language of business, professional and semi-official letters is formal, courteous, tactful, concise, expressive, and to the point. A business letter must be made up according to a certain rules. It consists of several essential parts: Letterhead, Reference line, Date, Inside address, Attention line, Salutation, Subject line, Body of the letter, Complimentary clause, Signature block, Enclosure and copies notation. A neatly arranged letter will certainly make a better impression on the reader, thus good letters make good business partners.
Now I’ll say some words about contracts.
Nowadays more and more agreements are made in English, for English is the nearest thing we have to a universal business language. Joint ventures, bank loans, and trademark licenses are frequently spelled out in this language even though it is not native to at least one of the contracting parties.
A good contract narrates, in an orderly sequence, that one party should do this and the other should do that, and perhaps if certain events occur, the outcome will be changed.
When striking a deal standard contracts are widely used. Standard contracts are not a must. Some articles may be altered and supplemented. Here are some of the items which are part and parcel of any contract: legal title of the contracting parties, subject of the contract, quality, price, delivery and payment terms.
Subject of the contract is the product for sale or purchase. it also indicates the unit of measure generally employed in foreign trade for specific commodities.
The quality of machines and equipment is to be in conformity with the technical specification of the contract. The quality of raw materials and foodstuffs is determined, as a rule, by standards, by sample or by description.
The price stated in the contract may be firm, fixed or sliding. Form prices are not subject to change in the course of the fulfillment of the contract. Fixed price is the price governing in the market on the day of delivery or for a given period. Sliding prices are quoted for machinery and equipment which require a long period of delivery.
Payment nowadays is usually made by a L/C (Letter of Credit) as it insures a full protection both for the Buyer and the Seller.
The majority of contracts include a so-called force-majeure clause. Force majeure is a force against which you cannot act or fight. The parties should agree what they will do in the force majeure situation.
Another clause of a contract is insurance of goods. The idea of insurance is to obtain indemnity in case of damage of loss.
And the last contract clause is called claims and sanctions. Most often the Buyer makes quality and quantity claims on the Seller. The Seller can make a claim on the Buyer in the case of non-payment and so on.
These were the essential clauses of a standard contract.
In conclusion I would like to say that in the modern world everybody who is involved in any kind of business should thoroughly study the complex science of writing business letters and contracts, so as his or her business could thrive.
Generation gap is a difference in values and attitudes between one generation and another, especially between young people and their parents. This problem was really urgent in the 60th of the twentieth century because such phenomenon as a teenage culture appeared. Most of the problems teenagers were seeking to solve had been created for them by adults. People forget that teenagers belong to another generation, with all the changes and problems which have accumulated with the passage of the years. It is not old problems but also new ones, of which parents are frequently unaware, but which teenagers have to solve.
It is not a new problem. What had appeared in the 60th, probably for the first time in the Western world, is a teenage culture, a way of life with which teenagers, as individuals, identify themselves and which they find meaningful. The songs, the lyrics, the records, the dancers, the clothes and the like are the evidences of a clear dissociation from the adult world.
In the 60th teenagers declared their independence of the adult world. And in all this they were encouraged by the world of business. The teenager was a very big business then. Such phenomena as James Dean, the Beatles and their innumerable imitators would be impossible without the support of teenagers and the industry, and a large number of TV programmes are designed for the same market. This mass teenage culture resulted in revolt against the values of the adults. In the survey conducted in 1974 a majority of teenagers reported that they could not “comfortably approach their parents with personal matters of concern’. Forty percent believed they would be “better off not living with their parents”.
Nowadays the situation has changed. If children are wanted and loved by their parents, why do they fight with them? At least this is one view of families that is presented on TV. The other type of family shown on television is one in which everyone is great friends with everyone else. These families seem to have no problems. In real life, most families fall somewhere in the middle. Talk about a “generation gap” has been exaggerated. Many parents want their children to be creative and question what is around them. In a democratic society children are taught no to obey blindly what is told to them. When children become teenagers, they question the values of their parents. This is a part of growing up that helps teenagers stabilize their own values. In one national survey, 80 percent of the parents answering the survey said their children shared their beliefs and values. Another study showed that most teenagers rely on their parents more for guidance and advice than on their friends.
When parents and teenagers do argue, usually it is about simple things. The most common reason parents and teenagers argue is because of the teenager’s attitude towards another family member. Another common reason for arguments between parents and teenagers is the quality of the teenager’s schoolwork. Arguments which involve drug or alcohol use occur in a much smaller group of families. Most parents said they were happy with the way their children are growing up. In America has appeared a new generation of young people who are extraordinary bright, morally earnest, and incredibly industrious. They like to study and socialize in groups. They create and join organizations with great enthusiasm. They are responsible, safety-conscious and mature. They feel no compelling need to rebel. They admire authority. You can’t find among them angry revolutionaries, despondent slackers, or dark cynics as among their parents when they were the same age. This new generation is called the Organization Kids. When they asked to rank the major problems facing America today, they name lack of respect for authority and lack of parental discipline. It was impossible to imagine teenagers a few decades ago calling for stricter parental discipline and more respect for authority.
To sum up I would like to say that this problem – generation gap – is not so urgent nowadays than it used to be in the 60th because both parents and teenagers have been changed during the last decades. Parents became more permissive and give their children more freedom than their parents used to give them when they were teenagers themselves so the most common reasons for conflict and friction between young people and their parents have been extinguished.
Now it’s impossible to imagine our life without computers. "Who invented the computer?" is not a question with a simple answer. The real answer is that many inventors contributed to the history of computers and that a computer is a complex piece of machinery made up of many parts, each of which can be considered a separate invention.
From its creation in 1983 the Internet grew rapidly beyond its largely academic origin into an increasingly commercial and popular medium. ^ is a network connecting many computers networks and based on a common addressing system and communications protocol called TCP/ IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol). By the mid-1990s the Internet connected millions of computers throughout the world. Many commercial computer network and data services also provided at least indirect connection to the Internet. Nowadays worldwide there are more than 700 000 (seven hundred million) users.
The Internet is no longer a novelty. Amateur radio, cable television wires, spread spectrum radio, satellite, and fibre optics all have been used to deliver Internet services. Networked games, networked monetary transactions, and virtual museums are among applications being developed that both extend the network’s utility and test the limits of its technology.
Electronic mail, abbreviation E-MAIL, are messages transmitted and received by digital computers through a network. An electronic-mail, or E-mail system allows computer users on a network to send texts, graphics, sounds and animated images to other users.
On most networks, data can be simultaneously sent to a universe of users or to a select group or individual. Network users typically have an electronic mailbox that receives, stores, and manages their correspondence. Recipients can elect to view, print, save, edit, answer, or otherwise react to communications. Many E-mail systems have advanced features that alert users to incoming messages or permit them to employ special privacy features. Large corporations and institutions use E-mail systems as an important communication link among employees and other people allowed on their networks. E-mail is also available on major public on-line and bulletin board systems, many of which maintain free or low-cost global communication networks.
The Internet and electronic mail is widely used in Education. A lot of virtual Universities were open all over the world. Virtual universities serve as a bridge between students and institutions. They help students find out about courses and certificate programs offered at schools. They also keep a close eye on these programs to ensure that they maintain a level of quality in their teaching. Students use e-mail to communicate with their professors as well as to turn in assignments. They also have class discussions with other students using chatrooms and message boards. For students who are not entirely comfortable with computers, online tutorials are organized. No university that is concerned about its future in the 21st century can afford to overlook opportunities of distant education.
Computers are widely used in language learning. Computer-assisted language learning (CALL) is a form of computer-based accelerated learning (ускоренное обучение) which carries two important features: bidirectional learning and individualized learning. It is not a method. CALL materials are tools for learning. The focus of CALL is learning, and not teaching. CALL materials are used in teaching to facilitate (облегчить) the language learning process. It is a student-centered accelerated learning material, which promotes self-paced accelerated learning.
Thus, with the help of computers we can work, shop, play and communicate. We’re calling this phenomenon e-life, and it’s just in time. Because one day we’ll just call it life.
ДОПОЛНЕНИЕ К ТЕМЕ №10. Childhood and happiness
Before talking about difficult childhood, I want to say that when you are a child, life is easy!
Now when I have grown, I know that the childhood the most carefree and happy time. But the point is that children look at this question absolutely another. They consider that the childhood not the happiest time in their life and constantly wish to become more adult. Children pretend to be adults when play. And if swear at parents they shout: "I have already grown and I wish to be independent".
As regards parents, they will always look at the children as on small to advise them something or to force. Speaking of this question; why children so consider, it is possible to recollect the childhood or to look at relations of children and their parents. Childhood may certainly be fairly happy, but its greatest moments can’t compare with the sheer joy of being an adult. Who ever asked a six-year-old for an opinion? Children don’t have opinions, or if they do, nobody notices. Adults choose the clothes their children will wear, the books they will read and the friends they will play with. Parents decide what kind of school you are going to apply. They decide you have to learn to play the piano or you have to learn to swim. They decide you have to eat foods you do not like at all. Besides children do not have money and if they would like anything, it is necessary to ask it from parents.
It is generally agreed that every child has own fears. Nothing can equal the abject fear a child may feel in the dark, the absolute horror of childish nightmares. Adults can share their fears with other adults; children invariably face their fears alone.
It is an indisputable fact that the most painful part of childhood is the period when you begin to emerge from it: adolescence. Teenagers may rebel violently against parental authority, but this causes them great unhappiness. There is a complete lack of self-confidence during this time. Adolescents are over-conscious of their appearance and the impression they make on others. From what has been said it follows that the adults seem to be more hostile than ever.
One has to admit that parents start to give more freedom to children during this period and a few money and teenagers think: “What a relief it is to grow up.” It all depends how one approaches this question about their freedom. Now teenagers do not have to seek constant approval for everything they do. And if on occasion they are teased, they know how to deal with it. You can simply tell other adults to go to hell: you are one yourself.
In my opinion, it is necessary to show respect. It is not necessary to limit a freedom of the child in the childhood and it is impossible to be very strict with him at teenage age. It is reflected in character of the child. Parents should understand that their child since the birth is the person who has the right to the opinion and on understanding of adults.
Some say that it is not necessary to listen to the child as he is small and does not know what is well and what is bad, but others argue that the child should receive all that he wants.
In general outline It is possible to draw such conclusion: Parents should give to children of more attention. It is not necessary to indulge them, but it is necessary to listen to them and to give a little own life, and in gratitude for it children will share the secrets with parents and will obey them.
Genetically modified (GM) foods are food items that have had their DNA(ДНК) - deoxyribonucleic acid; биохим. дезоксирибонуклеиновая кислота - changed through genetic engineering. GM foods were first put on the market in the early 1990s. The most common modified foods are derived from plants soybean, corn and cotton seed oil. For example, a typical GM Food could be a strawberry that has to survive in cold climates. Therefore, the farmer would get its DNA altered so it could survive in the frost. They would take DNA from a frost resistant cell, and transfer it into the strawberry cells genes. Therefore, the cells of the strawberry are now frost resistant and will survive the frost, so the farmer does not lose money.
The attitude towards GM foods only got worse after outbreaks of Mad Cow Disease (коровье бешенство). GM crops have been widely adopted in the United States. They have also been extensively planted in several other countries (Argentina, Brazil, South Africa, India, and China) where the agriculture is a major part of the total economy.
Currently, the use of genetically modified food is a subject of enormous global controversy. They were first developed in the late 1960s. However, since that time the science world has not yet proved if GM foods are safe for consumers. Intensive debates on this issue continue among scientists. There don't seem to be any facts proving that GM foods are unsafe. There is no specific laws in the EU on the Introduction of GM foods and accordingly there is no such legislation in Russia. We should protect ourselves not only from foreign suppliers but also from domestic ones.
Disputes continue between scholars as well as between members of parliament. However, common citizen are also getting engaged in the discussion, which is a positive sign since the public should know what foods they consume. Some interest groups argue that producers should label their products to make it clear for consumers whether foods contain GM components. Consumers should decide themselves whether to buy or not to buy GM foods. Everyone should be responsible for his or her health.
The opponents of GMF are confident that the production and use of GMF products is harmful for both the environment and for humans. Geneticists never talk about how the GM foods are developed. They are developed with the help of viruses. The more aggressive the virus or bacteria is, the better the gene will fit into the structure of the genome. These viruses are not controlled. These viruses often affect the reproductive system and the gastrointestinal tract (желудочно-кишечный тракт).
Two years ago, a girl died in one of the Kyiv hospitals. She was diagnosed with symptoms of pneumonia. The disease progressed at a high speed. Eventually, the girl died. The examination showed that she had no lungs in the body. Her enzymatic system has destroyed this organ…
In my presentation I’d like to talk about the problems which are to my mind the most serious in the XXI century.
So climate change is one of the most serious issues facing our planet. Unless we take action to combat global warming, it could cause dramatic changes in the weather. In fact, it is likely to bring famine, flooding and disease on a global scale. For example, many heavily populated regions such as the Nile delta, the Netherlands and Indonesia, would be permanently flooded. Moreover, some islands, such as the Maldives in the Pacific, might disappear completely.
How can we combat global warming? The most important way is to reduce the emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) by industry and motor vehicles.
The US is responsible for one quarter of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions, from 4 per cent of the world population. They must cut massively on them, however, the changes would be expensive and inconvenient to implement.
Another serious issue is war, especially religious or cultural wars and possible wars for fresh water. War devastates any country, but its impact is the most dramatic in developing countries. Children become orphans, healthy young men and women become cripples, food and water supplies are cut off, houses, schools and hospitals are destroyed, communication system fail.
One more thing that is worth discussing is longevity revolution. Modern medicine represents a miraculous triumph, the extra years of life will surely be treasured by the elderly and their families. The problem is that the revolutionary discoveries in technologies, making possible to live longer will provoke aging of the population. Besides, the retirement benefit programs were not designed to provide significant amount of money for extra years of payment. Another problem is that the birthrate considerably reduces. Unless measures will be taken the total population of Western Europe and Japan will reduce to about one-half of their current amount.
It is necessary to mention that at the dawn of the XXI century we can observe another trend that will have major impact on the humanity. The trend is the development of alternative sources of energy. As natural resources such as oil, gas and coal are likely to be exhausted rather soon, the mankind has to thing about the new ways of getting energy. These are solar energy, biofuel, atomic energy (which has many cons, but is extremely efficient), tidal power plants and so on.
In conclusion I would like to say that one more challenge in the XXI century will be to change the value system of the global society so as the main value will be human dignity and ecological sustainability. The Earth is our common home and creating a friendly world for our children and for future generations is our common task.
Geographically, English is the most widespread language on earth, and it is second only to Chinese in the number of people who speak it. It is spoken in the British Isles, the USA, Australia, New Zealand and much of Canada and South Africa. That’s about 400 million people.
English is also a second language of 300 million people living in more than 60 countries. If you add to this the enormous number of people who learn to understand and speak English, you will realize that English is indeed a “world language”.
In Shakespeare’s time only a few million people spoke English. All of them lived in what is now Great Britain. Through the centuries, as a result of various historical events, English spread throughout the world. Today, English is represented in every continent and in the three main oceans — the Atlantic, the Indian and the Pacific.
English is mixing with and marrying other languages around the world. It is probably the most insatiable (жадный, ненасытный) borrower. There are words from 120 languages in its vocabulary, including Arabic, French, German, Greek, Italian, Russian, and Spanish.
A century ago, some linguists predicted that one day England, America, Australia and Canada would be speaking different languages. However, with the coming of cinema, radio, and television, the two brands of English have even begun to draw back together again. Britons and Americans probably, speak more alike today than they did 50 or 60 years ago. In the 1930s and 1940s, for example, American films were dubbed in England. It’s no longer the practice today.
People have long been interested in having one language that could be spoken throughout the world. Such a language would help to increase cultural and economic ties and simplify communication between people. Through the years, at least 600 universal languages have been proposed, including Esperanto. About 10 million people have learned Esperanto since its creation in 1887, but English, according to specialists, has better chances to become a global language. So why not learn it?
International English has its own peculiarities. Nowadays the majority of people who speak English around the world are non-native speakers of English – they have learnt it as a second or subsequent language, they use to speak it with each other and therefore, they’re not really learning what’s always been called English as a foreign language. They are learning it for more international communication, and that has all sorts of implications for the sorts of things that they need to be able to do. English as an International language has some peculiarities. The first one – phonetic. The worlds learners may pronounce th not like [θ] or [ ], but like s or z. Though pronunciation is very important because international learners should understand each other well. In Grammar there are also some differences: in International English the ending ‘s’ in the third person singular in the Present Simple tense may be dropped, uncountable nouns such as information or advice may become countable: for example, three advices or three informations. The English that is being spoken internationally will have no longer British-based or American-based idiomatic language so this is not useful for international communication so that will have gone. But if learners still want to learn to speak as closely as possible to a native speaker, say a British or American English, it’s their choice, and the important thing is to give learners choices so that they can make up their own mind what it is they want to do.
Problems of Higher Education in UK
The first problem British Universities face is the problem of financing. Universities want to be freed of state controls to set their own tuition fees, this addressing their funding shortfalls (нехватка). A simple, free market solution to higher education’s economic and social problems is offered: charge the rich fees and use the money to fund scholarships for the poor. The economists argue that current funding arrangement equate to a state subsidy for the middle classes. The Universities in Britain must be allowed to set their own fees and student numbers as US institutions do. The new funding regime would be phased in (постепенно вводить) over a number of years to give parents a chance to start savings. Under the plan, the Russell group universities would be modelled on Ivy League institutions such as Cornell, funded by state and private money. A move to differential fees is the only way to fix the immediate funding problems facing British institutions.
The second problem deals with the elitism of higher education in UK. Leading universities, including Oxford and Cambridge, are failing to shed their elitist image, according to a report by MPs which reveals that a £400m drive to encourage people from the poorest backgrounds to go to university has resulted in only a marginal increase (незначительное увеличение) in applications. Universities, schools and the government are all blamed for failing to tackle the bias in applications, which means that more than twice the proportion of the richest school leavers go to university compared with those from the most disadvantaged backgrounds. In the past four years, the proportion of students from the most disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds has increased by just two percentage points. Leading universities should be forced to draw up action plans with the government's higher education funding council, spelling out how they will shed their elitist image and encourage more applications from the disadvantaged.
Higher education In Russia is provided by state and non-state higher education institutions (HEIs). Approximately half of the State HEIs students pay for their studies. In non-state HEIs all students have to pay tuition fees. Higher education is within the Ministry of Education and Science's juridiction. The Federal Service of Supervision in Education and Science is responsible for quality assurance in education. There are three levels of higher education: 1) incomplete higher education (2 years at least); 2) 4-year programmes leading to the Bakalavr's degree, the first final university degree; 3) postgraduate studies with duration of 1-2 years leading to the Specialist Diploma or the Magistr degree. HEIs are authorized to award the Magistr's degree after the completion of 2 years of study or the Specialist Diploma after 1 year of study following upon the Bakalavr's degree. Scientific degrees in Russia traditionally include two levels of doctoral degrees: the Candidate of Sciences (the first level, equivalent to PhD) and the Doctor of Sciences (the second, highest level). There are 721 state (including 45 regional public HEIs) and 369 accredited non-state HEIs in Russia. The Federal Agency for Education finances 338 state HEIs. The rest is financed by other Ministries or local authorities.
Problems of higher education in Russia
Problems of higher education in Russia Due to its Soviet legacy (наследие), Russia has gained a reputation for having a well trained population and efficient educational system. The facts on the ground are obviously more ambiguous, however. The veritable “boom” of higher education and the good results of some well-known universities hide the more general fall of average performances and the devaluation of diplomas and deterioration of the quality of higher education. Efforts to reform the system are meeting both structural constraints and corruption practices within the educational community. This makes a genuine assessment of Russian degrees difficult to achieve. In addition, the “privatization” of large sections of the education system has rendered the problem of inequality of access even more acute.
Russia is in the process of migrating from its traditional tertiary education model, incompatible with existing Western academic degrees, to a modernized degree structure in line with Bologna Process model. (Russia co-signed the Bologna Declaration in 2003.) In October 2007 Russia enacted a law that replaces the traditional five-year model of education with a two-tiered approach: a four-year bachelor (Russian: бакалавр) degree followed by a two-year master's (Russian: магистр) degree.
The move has been criticized for its merely formal approach: instead of reshaping their curriculum, universities would simply insert a BSc/BA accreditation in the middle of their standard five or six-year programs. The job market is generally unaware of the change and critics predict that a stand-alone BSc/BA diplomas will not be recognized as "real" university education in the foreseeable future, rendering the degree unnecessary and undesirable without further specialization.
Student mobility among universities has been traditionally discouraged and thus kept at very low level; there are no signs that formal acceptance of Bologna process will help students seeking better education. Finally, while the five-year specialist training was previously free to all students, the new MSc/MA stage is not. The shift forces students to pay for what was free to the previous class; the cost is unavoidable because the BSc/BA degree alone is considered useless. Defenders of Bologna process argue that the final years of the specialist program were formal and useless: academic schedules were relaxed and undemanding, allowing students to work elsewhere. Cutting the five-year specialist program to a four-year BSc/BA will not decrease the actual academic content of most of these programs.
Out of more than three million students who graduate from high school each year, about one million go on for higher education. A college at a leading university might receive applications from two percent of these high school graduates, and then accept only one out of every ten who apply. Successful applicants at such colleges are usually chosen on the basis of a) their high school records; b) recommendations from their high school teachers; c) their scores on the Scholastic Aptitude Tests (SATs).
The system of higher education in the United States comprises three categories of institutions: 1) the university, which may contain a) several colleges for undergraduate students seeking a bachelor's (four-year) degree and b) one or more graduate schools for those continuing in specialized studies beyond the bachelor's degree to obtain a master's or a doctoral degree, 2) the technical training institutions at which high school graduates may take courses ranging from six months to four years in duration and learn a wide variety of technical skills, from hair styling through business accounting to computer programming; and 3) the two-year, or community college, from which students may enter many professions or may transfer to four-year colleges.
Any of these institutions, in any category, might be either public or private, depending on the source of its funding. Some universities and colleges have, over time, gained reputations for offering particularly challenging courses and for providing their students with a higher quality of education. The factors determining whether an institution is one of the best or one of the lower prestige are quality of the teaching faculty; quality of research, facilities; amount of funding available for libraries, special programs, etc.; and the competence and number of applicants for admission, i. e. how selective the institution can be in choosing its students.
The most selective are the old private north-eastern universities, commonly known as the Ivy League, include Harvard Radcliffe, (Cambridge, Mass., in the urban area of Boston), Yale University (New Haven, Conn. between Boston and New York), Columbia College (New York), Princeton University (New Jersey), Brown University, Cornell University, Dartmouth College, University of Pennsylvania. With their traditions and long established reputations they occupy a position in American university life rather like Oxford and Cambridge in England, particularly Harvard and Yale. The Ivy League Universities are famous for their graduate schools, which have become intellectual elite centers.
Problems of Higher education in the USA
Universities are criticized that they use SATs results while admitting students. In defense of using the examinations as criteria for admission, administrators say that the SATs provide a fair way for deciding whom to admit when they have ten or twelve applicants for every first-year student seat.
The cost of higher education have grown too far and too fast, and that financial aid often does not end up in the hands of the truly needy students.
Too many high school students are under-prepared for college; consequently, they fail to thrive and are less likely to learn the skills they need to get good jobs and lead quality lives.
THE CONTENT, MAIN CHARACTERS OF THE NOVEL.
WHAT IS THE MAIN PROBLEM TACKED IN THE BOOK?
The novel “The moon and sixpence” by W.S. Maugham was written in 1919.
The revolt of the individual against the accepted conventions of society is a theme which has always fascinated W.S. Maugham. It is the inspiration of the novel “The moon and sixpence” which makes use of some outstanding incidents in the life of Paul Gaugine (though it cannot be regarded as his biography).
The novel marks a significant stage in W.S. Maugham’s literary development. The theme of “The moon and sixpence” took root in his mind as far back as W.S. Maugham’s Paris days (1904-1905). W.S. Maugham’s approach in the novel is that of the detached, experienced, somewhat disillusioned observer. W.S. Maugham hit upon the tittle of “The Moon and Sixpence” in a review of the novel “Of Human bondage”. This was what he later wrote: “The author … in his childhood was urged to make merry over the man who, looking for the moon, missed the Sixpence at his feet, but having reached years of maturity he is not so sure that this was so great an absurdity as he was bidden to believe. Let him who will pick up the sixpence, to pursue the moon seems the more amusing diversion”.
“The moon and sixpence” is constructed with great care, even with a certain degree of artificiality being divided into fifty-eight sections or scenes, many of them no more than a couple of pages in length.
The main character of the novel Charles Strickland is a prosperous stockbroker. At the beginning of the book the reader sees him through the eyes of a young writer, the narrator of the novel “He looked commonplace … He was a null”.
The rest of the book shows how wrong the narrator’s first impression was and the reader’s attitude towards Strickland’s character changes as the novel progresses …
The only aim of Strickland’s life was to create beauty. Not long before his terrible death of leprosy, far from his native land, on the remote island of Tahiti, Strickland realized his lifelong dream. The pictures on the walls of his dilapidated house were his masterpiece. In them “Strickland had finally put the whole expression of himself”. W.S. Maugham tries to be impartial to his characters. They are neither all good nor all bad, “There is not much to choose between men. They are all a hotchpotch of greatness and littleness, of virtue and vice, of nobility and baseness …”.
The reader despises Strickland as a human being: he is selfish, cruel, pitiless and cynical. But, on the other hand, the reader worships him as a talented artist, a creator of beauty. His passionate devotion to art arouses our admiration.
Another important character of the novel, Dirk Stroeve, is shown as an antipode to Strickland. He was a very kind man but a bad artist, though he possessed a keen sense of beauty and was the first to appreciate Strickland’s talent.
Maugham wants the reader to draw his own conclusions about the characters and events described in his novels. “I do not seek to persuade anybody. I am devoid of the pedagogic instinct and when I know a tiding, I never feel in myself the desire to impart it to others. I do not much care if people agree with me … Nor does it greatly disturb me to discover that my judgement is at variance with that of the majority (W.S. Maugham “The summing up”).
Realistic portrayal of life, keen character observation, and interesting plots coupled with beautiful, expressive language, simple and lucid style, place Somerset Maugham on a level with the greatest English writer of the XXth century.
Луна и грош (The Moon and Sixpence) — Роман (1919)
После смерти художник Чарлз Стрикленд был признан гением, и, как это обычно бывает, каждый, кто видел его хотя бы раз, спешит писать мемуары и толковать его творчество. Одни делают из Стрикленда добродушного семьянина, заботливого мужа и отца, другие лепят портрет безнравственного чудовища, не упуская ни малейшей подробности, что могла бы подогреть интерес публики. Автор чувствует, что должен написать правду о Стрикленде, ибо знал его ближе, чем другие, и, привлеченный оригинальностью личности художника, внимательно следил за его жизнью задолго до того, как Стрикленд вошел в моду: ведь самое интересное в искусстве — это личность творца.
Действие романа происходит в начале XX в. Автор, молодой писатель, после своего первого литературного успеха приглашен на завтрак к миссис Стрикленд — буржуа часто питают слабость к людям искусства и считают лестным для себя вращаться в артистических кругах. Ее мужа, биржевого маклера, на таких завтраках не бывает — он слишком зауряден, скучен и непримечателен.
Но внезапно традиция завтраков прерывается, — ко всеобщему изумлению, заурядный Чарлз Стрикленд бросил жену и уехал в Париж. Миссис Стрикленд уверена, что муж сбежал с певичкой — роскошные отели, дорогие рестораны... Она просит автора поехать за ним и уговорить его вернуться к семье.
Однако в Париже оказывается, что Стрикленд живет один, в самой дешевой комнате самого бедного отеля. Он признает, что поступил ужасно, но судьба жены и детей его не волнует, равно как и общественное мнение, — остаток жизни он намерен посвятить не долгу перед семьей, а самому себе: он хочет стать художником. Стриклендом словно бы владеет могучая, непреодолимая сила, которой невозможно противостоять.
Миссис Стрикленд, при всей ее любви к искусству, кажется гораздо оскорбительнее то, что муж бросил ее ради живописи, она готова простить; она продолжает поддерживать слухи о романе Стрикленда с французской танцовщицей.
Через пять лет, вновь оказавшись в Париже, автор встречает своего приятеля Дирка Стрева, низенького, толстенького голландца с комической внешностью, до нелепости доброго, писавшего хорошо продающиеся сладенькие итальянские жанровые сценки. Будучи посредственным художником, Дирк, однако, великолепно разбирается в искусстве и верно служит ему. Дирк знает Стрикленда, видел его работы (а этим могут похвастаться очень немногие) и считает его гениальным художником, а потому нередко ссужает деньгами, не надеясь на возврат и не ожидая благодарности. Стрикленд действительно часто голодает, но его не тяготит нищета, он словно одержимый пишет свои картины, не заботясь ни о достатке, ни об известности, ни о соблюдении правил человеческого общежития, и как только картина закончена, он теряет к ней интерес — не выставляет, не продает и даже просто никому не показывает.
На глазах автора разыгрывается драма Дирка Стрева. Когда Стрикленд тяжело заболел, Дирк спас его от смерти, перевез к себе и вдвоем с женой выхаживал до полного выздоровления. В «благодарность» Стрикленд вступает в связь с его женой Бланш, которую Стрев любит больше всего на свете. Бланш уходит к Стрикленду. Дирк совершенно раздавлен.
Такие вещи совсем в духе Стрикленда: ему неведомы нормальные человеческие чувства. Стрикленд слишком велик для любви и в то же время ее не стоит.
Через несколько месяцев Бланш кончает жизнь самоубийством. Она любила Стрикленда, а он не терпел притязаний женщин на то, чтобы быть его помощницами, друзьями и товарищами. Как только ему надоело писать обнаженную Бланш (он использовал ее как бесплатную натурщицу), он оставил ее. Бланш не смогла вернуться к мужу, как ядовито заметил Стрикленд, не в силах простить ему жертв, которые он принес (Бланш была гувернанткой, ее соблазнил сын хозяина, а когда открылось, что она беременна, ее выгнали; она пыталась покончить с собой, тогда-то Стрев и женился на ней). После смерти жены Дирк, убитый горем, навсегда уезжает на родину, в Голландию.
Когда наконец Стрикленд показывает автору свои картины, они производят на него сильное и странное впечатление. В них чувствуется неимоверное усилие выразить что-то, желание избавиться от силы, владеющей художником, — словно он познал душу Вселенной и обязан воплотить ее в своих полотнах...
Когда судьба забрасывает автора на Таити, где Стрикленд провел последние годы своей жизни, он расспрашивает о художнике всех, кто его знал. Ему рассказывают, как Стрикленд, без денег, без работы, голодный, жил в ночлежном доме в Марселе; как по поддельным документам, спасаясь от мести некоего Строптивого Билла, нанялся на пароход, идущий в Австралию, как уже на Таити работал надсмотрщиком на плантации... Жители острова, при жизни считавшие его бродягой и не интересовавшиеся его «картинками», очень жалеют, что в свое время упустили возможность за гроши купить полотна, стоящие теперь огромные деньги. Старая таитянка, хозяйка отеля, где живет автор, поведала ему, как она нашла Стрикленду жену — туземку Ату, свою дальнюю родственницу. Сразу после свадьбы Стрикленд и Ата ушли в лес, где у Аты был небольшой клочок земли, и следующие три года были самыми счастливыми в жизни художника. Ата не докучала ему, делала все, что он велел, воспитывала их ребенка...
Стрикленд умер от проказы. Узнав о своей болезни, он хотел уйти в лес, но Ата не пустила его. Они жили вдвоем, не общаясь с людьми. Несмотря на слепоту (последняя стадия проказы), Стрикленд продолжал работать, рисуя на стенах дома. Эту настенную роспись видел только врач, который пришел навестить больного, но уже не застал его в живых. Он был потрясен. В этой работе было нечто великое, чувственное и страстное, словно она была создана руками человека, проникшего в глубины природы и открывшего ее пугающие и прекрасные тайны. Создав эту роспись, Стрикленд добился того, чего хотел: он изгнал демона, долгие годы владевшего его душой. Но, умирая, он приказал Ате после его смерти сжечь дом, и она не посмела нарушить его последнюю волю.
Вернувшись в Лондон, автор вновь встречается с миссис Стрикленд. После смерти сестры она получила наследство и живет очень благополучно. В ее уютной гостиной висят репродукции работ Стрикленда, и она ведет себя так, словно с мужем у нее были прекрасные отношения.
Слушая миссис Стрикленд, автор почему-то вспоминает сына Стрикленда и Аты, словно воочию увидев его на рыбацкой шхуне. А над ним — густую синеву небес, звезды и, насколько хватает глаза, водную пустыню Тихого океана.
The question of values becomes important when we cannot understand and explain the behavior of foreigners. In most cases this is what is usually called "cultural misunderstanding". We should understand that foreigners behave in this strange way not because they are rude or crazy, but simply because they proceed from a different list of values.
The earliest settlers who came to the North American continent were motivated by the desire to escape the control and social order of monarchy, aristocracy, oppression and poverty. Thereby, freedom is at the center of all that Americans value and hold dear.
In the Constitution that Americans write for their nation they separated church and state and forbade titles of nobility, creating a climate of freedom that placed the emphasis on the individual. Being a protestant nation, Americans emphasize the moral responsibility of an individual for his behavior and achievements. Individualism, understood not only as self-reliance but also as economic self-sufficiency, has always been a central theme in American history. It is the basic aspect of the American character. Americans believe that they cannot keep their freedom if they rely too much on the support of their families or the government.
Beside the desire to obtain freedom, early settlers were driven by the belief that unlike Europe, the newly found land would give everyone an equal chance to succeed. Though people are not equal in their abilities, equality of opportunity is understood by Americans as an equal chance for success. Capitalist ideology is based on an almost unchecked competition between individuals for social and economic status. At the same time capitalism does promise and often provides opportunities for social and economic advancement for those who are capable.
Though only a few can reach the top as they could discipline themselves and work hardest, while other people are simply lazy and undisciplined. There is also support from Protestant theology, which tends to associate hard work and personal achievement with being in favor with God. In any context working hard is highly honored by Americans, because
The concept of material wealth and well-being has always been part of the American dream. Most of immigrants did not become rich overnight but with time were able to improve their former standards of leaving and hopes for their children. The phrase “to go from rags to riches” reflects the great American dream in which material wealth and possessions are one of the top priorities. For Americans practicality and productivity are more important than spiritual discovery, contemplation, inner questioning.
The national pride for being American is easily observed nowadays by foreign visitors who noice the prevalence of patriotic symbols everywhere. As opposed to Europe, American patriotism doesn’t mean the identification with the land, but the identification with a certain body of ideals, the American worldview, the “American Way of Life”.
And now let’s go through the Russian values.
Russia unlike the USA is a very old country with the history of more than 11 centuries. Despite sweeping changes - the vast country rocked from one extremity to the other, Russia has always demonstrated its uniquely Russian character and style which have survived through centuries and resist all attempts to transform or westernize Russia.
Russia is beset with contradictions. (Россия полна противоречий). This binary character gave birth to the famous saying: no matter what you saying about Russia, the opposite might be true.
The vast land rich in natural resources has always been the foundation of Russian national wealth. Russian patriotism is deeply rooted in love for the land, its beauty, folklore and cultural heritage. The vast territories and cold climate, together with the need to survive and resist the attacks of neighboring countries cultivated the spirit of communalism(теория государства на общинной основе), which is often considered to be a predominant Russian value.
The equality has always been a long-cherished dream for social justice. It was always viewed as equality of distribution which hampered (препятствовать) competition and progress.
Communalism at the same time brought about such ideals as dependence on each other’s help and mutual support. Russians rely on a close network of family and friends as protection against the risks and unpredictability of daily life. Russians are always ready to get too deeply involved in the friend’s personal problems.
Another important feature of the Russian national value system is preference of spiritual over material. Because Russian orthodoxy contempt material wealth and private property.
So, traditional values are still strong – self-sacrifice, sense of duty (уважение), compassion (сострадание), the importance of family, and love of nature, courage and moral strength.
The List of Russian-American Values
1. Going to extremes (Russians) vs. moderation in everything (Americans)
A Russian can spend all his money in a restaurant during one night, Americans would probably never do this and would consider the Russian behavior strange or just foolish.
A Russian can talk to a complete stranger on the train about his or her problems, an American would probably prefer to talk about football, rather than to share his or her problems with anybody.
3. Generosity, hospitality (Russians) vs. BEING PRACTICAL, saving money (Americans)
While Russian dinner is a real feast, Americans make as many hamburgers as there are guests expected; if Americans invite you for coffee, they mean coffee and not anything else.
Russians and Americans solve their problems in different ways: if Russians have problems they go to their relatives or friends, if Americans have problems, they go to their psychiatrist.
Russians and Americans also differ in borrowing money: Russians borrow money from their relatives or friends, Americans borrow money from the bank.
It may seem that Americans are always OK. When Russians watch American movies they often get surprised. Just imagine the following situation: A brave American cowboy (or policeman) is nearly shot by a bad guy. The cowboy is bleeding and nearly faints. At this point he is saved by his friend, who asks him: "Are you OK?" The cowboy replies: "I'm OK." "But he is not OK!" - Why is he lying? It will take long to explain why and we simply believe that American cowboys are always OK.
Russian love of their country is geographical (they love their nature, their birch-trees); American love is political (they love their freedom and democracy and they believe that it's their duty to protect freedom and democracy all over the world).
You have worked hard before the exam. When you come to your exam and get "5" you tell your colleagues that you knew everything and you deserved it (American); you tell your colleagues that you knew nothing and got "5" because of cheating (Russian).
7. Problem making (Russians) vs. problem solving (Americans)
Russians have a serious attitude to life, they tend to complicate everything, Americans have a childish attitude to life, they tend to simplify everything.
Situation: Your friend doesn't get on with his colleagues and because of this won't get a promotion. You think that a) He has a complicated personality (Russians), or b) He is a fool (Americans)
8. Collectivism (Russians) vs. individualism (Americans)
A line in the library (Several people from your group will join you in the line and nobody would object, American students would consider this not only strange but totally unacceptable).
Тех тем, которых нет выше, Вы сможете найти по адресу:
http://www.twirpx.com/file/46605/ (с регистрацией)